Joe Biden will seek to restore the place of science in policymaking. Science leadership will need to be reshaped to achieve this result.
Thus, the incoming president should nominate someone to head the White House science office who has a background in the life sciences and is also a woman or a person of color.
President-elect Biden has launched the transition process for his incoming administration. …
The GOP has succeeded in unfairly packing the courts with conservative judges who are out-of-step with the American people. Joe Biden’s surprising counterpunch with a bipartisan commission might be just the right thing after all, despite criticism from the left.
Some on the left have reacted to the Amy Coney Barrett nomination with calls for adding more Supreme Court justices under a Biden administration to even out the score. Conservatives howled about this potential “court-packing” scheme without mentioning their own, and then badgered Biden about his position on the issue. Suddenly Joe Biden came out charging with . . . …
Donald Trump’s favorability rating has never much passed 40% that’s OK with him. In fact, it’s his reelection plan.
His strategy is one that assumes mobilizing an energetic base is more important than appealing to undecided middle-of-the road voters. His far-right policies and combative rhetoric reinforced by conservative media are intended to keep his base in a state of frenzy about the threat to America he’s fighting against.
It’s called engagement though enragement.
But Trump still cannot win simply by turning out the 40% of the voters that constitute his base. He also has to count on his opponents doing their part to elect them too. That means some of them must do what they did in 2016 — either vote third party or stay home and not vote. …
Kamala Harris’s selection as vice-president sets a new standard for what it means for a political party to balance its ticket. Ticket balancing for the parties used to be largely geographic or ideological in nature. Now for the Democrats it has come to mean greater demographic balance — namely, selecting a ticket that looks more closely like America.
Mind you, Kamala Harris is an outstanding choice as an individual who could step into the job as president on a moment’s notice. Temperamentally she is smart, level-headed, and determined. She has had accomplished careers in state government and the Senate. …
My advice to Super Tuesday Democrats is simple: vote for whom you think would be the best president and stop worrying so much about beating Trump. Then enthusiastically support the eventual nominee.
Yes, beating Donald Trump is the top priority, but honestly no one really knows who the best candidate would be. (BTW: I vote in the Super Tuesday state of Virginia.)
Pundits claim to, but they mostly end up saying the candidate they agree with most would also be the strongest candidate. The name for this is confirmation bias — or believing what you want to believe.
I don’t mean this advice to be a cop out. I don’t think assessing electability is inherently impossible. It’s just that I have spent weeks listening to experts and going through data, and the one conclusion that seems most certain…
Thanks Iowa. The technical mess which is your caucus is a reminder that the primary system is a political mess too. That makes this a good time to rethink why Iowa and New Hampshire get to go first in the nomination process anyway. Especially given how bad they are in selecting wining candidates for president.
The conclusion should be simple: Iowa and New Hampshire, you’re fired!
I’m sure these states take their privileged position on the election calendar seriously. Nevertheless, their peculiar kick-off to the presidential campaign every four years is hard to justify and should remind the rest of us how badly the political process as a whole needs reform. …
Trump produced the longest government shutdown in history. It was also the dumbest.
He always wants to have the greatest of everything. Well, here’s one of the greatest mistakes of his presidency.
Congress finally crafted a budget deal to provide border security that President Trump was willing to sign. This was made possible only after Trump insisted on $5.7 billion to build a concrete wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and then proceeded to shut the government down for 35 days to get his way.
Now he has agreed to a budget not much better than where he started last year, and to make up for his defeat he has declared a national emergency to bypass Congress. But the centerpiece of this fiasco for the president was the government shutdown, a glaring failure for the would be dealmaker-in-chief. …
The election ended up a clear defeat for President Trump and the GOP. They lost control of the U.S. House and have fewer governors, even if they picked up a couple seats in the Senate. For the Democrats, as they say, two out of three ain’t bad.
Yet, in so many ways the night had also become a disappointment for many Democrats. They had hoped the nation would send a loud and clear message to Trump that his politics of fear and division were not acceptable by sweeping Democrats into control at every level. …
The election is finally here but not even the experts are sure which way it will go. With so many moving parts, it’s handy to have just a few weather vane races to follow to see which way the wind is blowing.
So, here’s a guide to use to keep track of trends. In each case, there are three key states to watch for the House, the Senate or the nation’s governors.
But first, the lay of the land.
I admit to the guilty pleasure of finishing Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury this weekend. Given that the release of this book finished off Steve Bannon at Breitbart because of an angry Donald Trump, it might well have been titled, Fired by the Furious. But the saga that Wolff sets out, based on extraordinary White House access, should be most alarming because the proof that Trump’s not fit for duty is pouring out from his own inner circle.
Watching the Trump administration has been no pleasure, guilty or otherwise. Fire and Fury is worth a read not just as more proof of the failings of the Trump presidency, but to remind us what is at stake on substantive issues ranging from protecting our democracy to dealing with climate change. …